LIVE NIRVANA INTERVIEW ARCHIVE September 24, 1993 - New York, NY, US

Interviewer(s)
James Greer
Carol Candeloro
Interviewee(s)
Kurt Cobain
Krist Novoselic
Dave Grohl
Publisher Title Transcript
MTV 120 Minutes TBC
MTV MTV News Yes
MTV.com Nirvana Breakdown The Sound Of In Utero Yes

TBC

© MTV Networks, 1993

Kurt Cobain: I came up with most of the visuals and, um, what's really kind of sad about it is that Kevin Kerslake, who has done our last two videos, or three?

Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl: Three.

Kurt: …Three, um… him and I had a lot of conversations over the phone about these visuals that I had for this video, and he feels that a lot of them were his- a lot of them were his ideas, and they weren't, I swear to God! I'll swear on the Bible. And now we've had a kind of falling-out with him, and it's just too bad.

Krist: [hands Kurt a book]

Kurt: Oh, ok…

Krist: Do you swear that those were your ideas?

Kurt: I absolutely do.

Krist: So help you God?

Kurt: [nods]

Krist: All right!

© MTV Networks, 1994

MTV: What kind of album did you deliberately set out to make with In Utero, as opposed to what you did with Nevermind?

Kurt Cobain: Well, we had an idea of a sound that we'd been wanting for a long time, y'know? Because of Steve Albini's production, from a lot of other bands, like The Breeders, The Pixies and stuff like that… you know those bands? You ever heard of them?

MTV: Ummm…

Kurt: And it's just that sound that we really like, we thought that sounded so natural and real, it has a really beautiful ambience to it, so that's why we chose it.

MTV: There was a review I just read of it that said it sounded like you set out to make the last punk rock record and ended up making what sounded like the first punk rock record.

Kurt: Hmmm…

Krist Novoselic: We're out to commit commercial suicide…

Kurt: Yeah…

Krist: What else are we out to do? Career suicide…

Kurt: To Pee-off our A&R man!

MTV: The sound Albini got, I mean, was it the drum sound that you were dreaming of?

Kurt: Right away, yeah. As soon as we started, the first song that we recorded, we listened back to it and said "OK, yeah, that's his sound. That's what we wanted." Which isn't- I mean, it is his sound, it's a trademark sound, but it's something that I personally have had in my head ever since I've been in a band, ever since we've had this band going, I've wanted that kind of a sound, because it sounds so natural and real. And, y'know, technology nowadays, 99% of all studios sound too… digital… digital.

MTV: Yeah, that's definitely not Steve.

Kurt: Yeah, so he used a lot of analog equipment and a lot of microphones, like quadruple the amount of microphones that people normally use.

MTV: How did you come up with the title "In Utero"? What does that- does it have a specific meaning, or it is it meant to be…

Kurt: It just kinda went in conjunction with the artwork. It just sounded nice…

MTV: The artwork came first, then the title?

Kurt: Yeah.

MTV: And did you come up with the artwork?

Kurt: Yeah:, I came up with- I put together- I'd been collecting these little rubber foetuses and things like that. I've just always been kinda obsessed with birth and death and stuff like that. I'm not a death rocker and I don't wear black, but sometimes I like to collect weird things like that. And so I arranged them all together and bought a bunch of flowers and had Charles Peterson take the picture of it.

MTV: At one point you were gonna call it "I Hate Myself And Want To Die"?

Kurt: Yeah.

Krist: Then it was "Verse Chorus Verse"…

Kurt: Those are fine titles, but… just like "Rape Me," y'know, the title itself confuses people, people would take it too literally, they would think that we're being serious, because no-one sees the funny side of us hardly. Y'know, every picture- if we take a photo-shoot, y'know, we may smile or make goofy faces 90% of the time, but if we frown for 3 seconds, they'll use those 3 second shots, y'know? And I've just noticed this image of us as being a serious, angry, pissed off band.

MTV: Right. You think that's the image people want to have of you, rather than…

Kurt: I don't know if they want that, or if it's just turned out that way, I don't know…

© MTV Networks, 2013